History Leaving Cert

The history syllabus was recently revised and it aims to develop students knowledge of human activity in the past from varied perspectives. The course studies the history of Ireland, Europe and the world. 
Students develop a range of skills in research and the course gives students an appreciation for historical evidence ,helping students to develop an appreciation for the the past and the society they live in.
Students learn to decipher and work with evidence they are given. The section of the course focussing on working with evidence is broken into three parts:
Introduction to history and the historian- this forms the framework for the other parts of the section.
Document based study - this section is based on the topic prescribed by the examining authority eah year, the documents to be studied relate to the case studies listed for each topic that year.
Research Study- students write a report about a topic they have chosen to investigate which is then submitted for assessment.

Topics for Study:

This is split into two areas:
Early Modern field of study 1492-1815
This includes the following:
Irish History 1492-1815 -Reformation, Rebellian in Elizabethan Ireland,Kingdom versus colony,Establishing a colonial ascendancy,Colony versus Kingdom, Act of Union
European History 1492-1815 -Renaissance to Reformation, Religion and Power, The eclipse of Old Europ,Europe in the age of Louis XIV,Establishing Empires, Empires in revolution.
Later Modern field of study 1815-1993
Irish History 1815-1993 - Ireland the Union,Movements for political and social reform, the pursuit of sovereignty, the Irish Diaspora, Politics and society in Northern Ireland,Government society and the economy in Ireland (1949-1989) 
History of Europe and the Wider World 1815-1993 -Nationalism and State Formation,Nation states and international tensions, Dictatorship and democracy, Division and realignment in Europe, European retreat from Empire and the aftermath, The US and the World.
The new history course was introduced in 2006 and over 12,000 students sat the 2011 History exam. Students study topics from both Irish, European and global history this  improves students' critical thinking. The course is expansive and requires consistent study throughout the year but good results can be obtained by way of the research study report.  

Subject Overview

History deals with the experience of human life in the past. The study of history involves an investigation of the surviving evidence relating to such experience. It brings students into contact with human experiences that are often very different from their own and fosters their developing understanding of the human condition and human motivation. Through its focus on the evaluation of evidence, it contributes significantly to the development of students' skills of critical thinking. Through its focus on research, it allows students the opportunity to develop their skills of independent learning.


The syllabus framework comprises two interlinking parts as follows:
I Working with evidence
II Topics for study
I Working with evidence: (a) Introduction - history and the historian (b) The documents-based study (c) The research study
II Topics for study: Students study a topic that has been prescribed for the documents-study and three other topics. Two of the topics studied relate to Irish history and two to the history of Europe and the wider world. The topics are arranged in two discrete fields of study: Early Modern, 1492-1815; Later Modern, 1815-1993. Within each field of study, there are six topics from Irish history and six from the history of Europe and the wider world.
Differentiation - The syllabus is designed to be taught at both Ordinary and Higher levels. The levels are differentiated through the specification of learning outcomes: there are learning outcomes that are common to all and additional learning outcomes for Higher level. While student at the two levels study the same topics, for Ordinary level students a particular emphasis is placed on the key personalities and the case studies. Higher level students are expected to study topics more fully and to develop a greater level of conceptual understanding.


Leaving Certificate History is assessed at two levels - Ordinary level and Higher level. There are two assessment components:
A research study report (submitted prior to the examination) 20%
An examination paper 80%
At both levels, the examination paper features a documents-based question (linked to the documents-based study) and three general questions. All four questions are of equal value